When an accident or injury occurs to a visitor or tenant living on another person’s property, the owner of the property may be liable (legally responsible) if it can be proved that their negligence led to the injury.
If you’ve suffered an injury of this type which you believe may be a result the negligence of another person, you may be able to file a lawsuit to recover the costs involved to pay for your medical bills, any lost earnings or other pain, disfigurement, emotional distress or permanent physical disability you have suffered. Injuries on properties can include those from:
- Slip and fall accidents
- Dog bites or maulings
- Exposure to toxic or hazardous substances such as lead or mold
In cases involving premises liability, plaintiffs must prove that the property owners either failed to maintain the property or created unsafe conditions which caused the injury, knew about the unsafe hazard but didn’t alert visitors or tenants to this fact, was not careful concerning unsafe conditions which might attract children, or took actions or neglected conditions that caused damage to a neighbouring property.
It is the established rule of law in Florida that a possessor of land owes two duties to an invitee:
1) to use reasonable care in maintaining the premises in a reasonably safe condition; and
2) to give the invitee warning of concealed perils which are or should be known to the landowner and which are unknown to the invitee and cannot be discovered by her through the exercise of due care. Knight v. Waltman, 774 So. 2d 731 (Fla. 2d DCA 2000).
Furthermore, a possessor of land is liable to his invitees for physical harm caused to them by any activity or condition on the land whose danger is known to the invitee if the possessor should anticipate the harm, despite the knowledge or obviousness of the situation. Restatement (Second) of Torts, sec. 343A; Lynch v. Brown, 489 So. 2d 65 (Fla. 1st DCA 1986).
Most recently, in Markowitz v. Helen Homes of Kendall Corp., 826 So.2d 256 (Fla. 2002), the Supreme Court of Florida held that, once an injured shopper establishes that were injured by a “transitory foreign object” (solid or liquid) being where it should not be, negligence of the business is presumed, and the store owner must then prove that reasonable care was exercised in maintaining the premises “under the circumstances”, which could include the nature of the specific hazard and the nature of the business.